According to David Gow at The Guardian, the European Union plans to launch a €50 billion investment scheme that will revolutionise energy, digital, and transportation networks, thereby leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs during the next couple of years. The job scheme will involve filling some of the gaps in government funding, and add more leverage to private investments through the usage of bonds that will be backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The European Commission has stated that the development of a smarter infrastructure may require more than €1.5 trillion to be invested in trans-European transportation networks, telecommunication and data-related technologies, and energy production and conservation methods.

Coincidentally, that is roughly equal to the proposed amount of the eurozone bailout fund that G20 finance ministers have been discussing. The new job plans, which are expected to be released Wednesday, would ideally allow taxpayers to be reimbursed for some of the €4.6 trillion that they’ve put into the European financial sector since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2008. According to Kroes, much of the funds would be supplied in the form of debt, guarantees, or equity supplied by the EIB or EU.

As an example of the type of investments that would be included within the scheme, €7 billion would be invested into high-speed broadband technology from 2014-2020, which according to the Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neely Kroes, could increase the leverage of more than €50 billion in private and public investment funds by reducing risks associated with related projects.

The EC has estimated that investing in new high-speed broadband networks could create approximately 1,000,000 jobs in Germany alone before 2020, and the creation of a new fiber-to-home network in France could generate an additional 350,000+ jobs each year.

Author: Sam Allcock
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